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Knowing what to look for in a sleeping bag, and then choosing the right sleeping bag for you, is one of the most important things to ensure a good night sleep when camping. There are many different factors that contribute to a good sleeping bag and what might be the best sleeping bag for you. At least it is for me, to me one of the things that will make or break a good trip is a good sleeping bag. A good sleeping bag ensures that you are rested and it makes all the difference where in the great outdoors.

I don’t want bad days when we are out camping, so we have invested quite a bit of money in the right sleeping bag for us. If you want to know a little more about choosing the right sleeping bag for a toddler I go through that here.

How do you find the right sleeping bag?

There are a few things to look for when you look for a sleeping bag that is perfect for you:

  • Down sleeping bags vs. Synthetic sleeping bags
  • Shape of your sleeping bag
  • Size of your sleeping bag
  • Extensions for sleeping bags
  • Sleeping bags for kids

Ill try and take you through the process so that you can find the best sleeping bag for you as well. Now keep in mind that these are all suggestions to help you think about what will suit you best, I will not have the complete answer to what is best for you. I am always happy to help though, and if you have any questions, list them below and I will do my best to answer them.

What to look for in a sleeping bag


You want to think about the material you want in your sleeping bag. The most common materials for sleeping bags are down or synthetic fibers. As always there are pros and cons to both:

Down filled sleeping bags

Down sleeping bags are very lightweight. They can be very warm without getting to heavy. This makes them perfect for hiking, or for anyone that has to carry many sleeping bags. Yes, that would be us with the large families 🙂 You do have to be really careful not to get the down sleeping bag wet, as it looses its insulating qualities when wet.

Sleeping bags you might like:

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Synthetic sleeping bags

Synthetic sleeping bags excel in wet conditions by retaining warmth better than down and drying more quickly if they get wet. However, they are typically larger and heavier than their down counterparts, making them less compact for transportation.

Temperature rating

You want to think about where and when you’ll be using your sleeping bag. If this is a sleeping bag is solely used for spring and fall trips you want a different sleeping bag than if it’s a sleeping bag that you’ll only be using during summer. Again, you will want a different bag if you are planing on taking winter trips with the whole family.

You also want to consider how you sleep. I am a cold sleeper my self, and pull out the winter covers in July. The rest of our family are all warm sleepers. They are warm with summer covers all year round. You probably know yourself what type of a sleeper you are.

I would find a sleeping bag that would be able to deal with temperatures a little below the coldest temperature you would expect on your trip.

Shape of your sleeping bag

Sleeping bags comes in different shapes. Mummy shaped (where you look like a mummy when you are inside it, with thin legs) and a rectangular shape. Mummy shaped bags are better at keeping you warm as they follow the shape of your body. But not everyone likes being closed in like that. The rectangular sleeping bag leaves you more room for your legs, but is not advisable in colder regions.

Size of your sleeping bag

You want to always keep the size of the sleeping bag in mind. You want to have enough room so that you can move around. You want to have some air inside your sleeping bag as it is the air that insulates you and keeps you warm. At the same time you don’t want a bag that is to big, as that takes a lot of energy from you to heat up, and that is just wasted space.

Extender to your sleeping bag

If you have trouble finding a sleeping bag that is wide enough for you to sleep in it comfortably, consider buying an extender. I have one and it has made all the difference to me. Consider contacting the brand that has made your sleeping bag to see if they provide an extender. Also consider the size of that extender, and how much wider you need your bag to be.

Things to think about for sleeping bags for kids

You want to consider all of the things above for a sleeping bag for kids. At the same time its important to consider that kids are ever growing. To us, that means that we have invested in sleeping bags that extend at the feet to fit our ever growing kiddos.

I hope this was helpful in your quest for a new sleeping bag. If you have any further questions, as always please list them in the comments.

Until next time


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